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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  February 2, 2013 2:00am-3:00am EST

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and that is before you get into the broader economic benefits. there are very few free lunches in public policy. usually it is a realm of hard choices, but taking advantage of our unique position as the country with the world's best and brightest, desperately a way to go? that is surely correct. the pain of mccain. let's play "hardball." ♪ i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this. why is john mccain so angry? 40 years after the vietnam p.o.w.s came home, the most famous of them is angrier than ever. why is america, why are we fighting the vietnam war all
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over again in the united states senate? the ticked off vitriol against chuck hagel, what is it about? is it for show? is it about something hagel said in the cloakroom? is it the unfairness of vietnam itself, that some went and some didn't? is it about johnson's inability to win that war or end it? what burns so deeply in john mccain these days? it seems to excite those who knew nothing about vietnam but want to replay it. we dig into the deep well of resentment burning in john mccain's patriotic heart. a resentment not against the north vietnamese who imprisoned and tortured him all those years, not against george w. bush and his political henchmen who tried to stain mccain's reputation back in 2000, but against a guy who fought against fear and rallied against wounds just like he did in the same army of america's long nightmare in vietnam, chuck hagel. a nightmare, by the way, whose flashbacks must haunt still the mind and heart of john sidney mccain. i'm joined by david corn and joy reid, both msnbc contributors. both of you, sir and lady, are younger than me, but i'm younger than me, but i'm convinced we're watching a flashback. watch this. here is senator john mccain.
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he did a long, angry windup before he launched into his first so-called question. it was really an indictment for a former senate colleague and former friend and fellow vietnam veteran, chuck hagel. it included putdowns as well as references to vietnam. >> in january of 2007 in a rather bizarre exchange with secretary rice in the foreign relations committee after some nonsense about syria and crossing the border into iran and syria because of the surge, then -- and a reference to cambodia in 1970, you said, quote, when you set in motion the kind of policy the president is talking about here, it's very, very dangerous. quote, as a matter of fact, i have to say, madam secretary, i
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think this speech given last night by this president represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam. if it's carried out, i will resist it. in march 2008 you said, quote, here the term quagmire could apply. >> what are these, the fulbright hearings all over again? i lived through them. and this guy is going back into some "last year at marienbad" kind of weird 1970s movie where you go back into the past that never even happened. why is he fighting hagel over vietnam? >> well, it's interesting because he's ostensibly fighting with him over iraq, but it immediately becomes over vietnam. he seems to be mad that hagel took issue with him about iraq and compared it to vietnam being the big blunder, which, of course, mccain and hagel both served in. you know, when mccain talks about iraq, all he wants to talk about is from the surge on. it's as if everything before that didn't happen and didn't count, and we can still debate
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whether the surge worked or not, but the bigger issue is whether iraq was as bad as vietnam, and he doesn't want to have that argument. >> here is mccain sinking his teeth into hagel's ankle here, and he wouldn't let go on the question of the iraq surge. again, what david said. let's listen again, back again to the old war. >> were you correct or incorrect when you said that the surge would be the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam? were you correct or incorrect? >> my -- >> yes or no. >> my reference to -- >> are you answering the question, senator hagel? the question is were you right or wrong? that's a pretty straightforward question. >> well -- >> i would like to answer whether you were right or wrong and then you are free to elaborate. >> i'm not going to give you a yes or no. i think it's far more
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complicated than that, as i have already said. my answer is i'll defer that judgment to history. as to the comment i made about the most dangerous foreign policy decision since vietnam was about not just the surge but the overall war of choice going into iraq. >> well, there you have it. joy, your thoughts. you're younger. i lived through it. it looks like a flashback. mccain is so angry. is it really about the surge? what is it? did they yell at each other in the cloakroom? >> they both served, as you said. they were actually good friends. they were brothers in arms in the senate. you know, john mccain seems to be a man who is tormented. he's tormented by these demons that have to do with the things he was denied. he was denied the presidency, so he couldn't stand george w. bush. he was denied it again so he couldn't stand barack obama and can't stand anyone that barack obama nominates. and the surge was something that was his. i think that almost in a way john mccain made the surge into
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the war as john mccain would have fought it as commander-in-chief, and anyone who questions it gets the wrath of mccain. and i watched that hearing or that part of the hearing with colonel jack jacobs and patrick murphy, the former congressman of pennsylvania that served in iraq. both of those guys have been at the bottom of the pile, as jack jacobs calls it, like hagel and mccain, you just view war differently. but the lesson these two men took from vietnam seems to be so different. hagel took the questioning, the same thing patrick murphy feels, being lied to and knowing that anger that your friends died for what you believe to be a lie. mccain seems to have taken something different from it. >> we're all different. here is chuck hagel in vietnam back in '68 when he went in. he was an enlisted soldier and rose to sergeant. a noncommissioned officer with the infantry, a grunt as they used to say in vietnam. this is navy pilot john mccain with his squadron in 1965 before he was captured. hagel made reference to the vantage point an enlisted man has in war. >> i saw it from the bottom. i saw what happens. i saw the consequences and the
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suffering and the horror of war. so i did question a surge. i always ask the question, is this going to be worth the sacrifice, because there will be sacrifice. in the surge case in iraq, we lost almost 1,200 dead americans during that surge and thousands of wounded. now, was it required? was it necessary? senator mccain has his own opinion on that shared by others. i'm not sure. i'm not that certain that it was required. >> you know, the horror of vietnam, where i wasn't -- i always point that out -- the guys who were, into the jungle, fighting an enemy you couldn't see. there were no p.o.w.s in the jungle wars. they didn't take prisoners. you know, what we did with ours, we turned ours over for god knows what kind of treatment.
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that was a horrible war. the p.o.w.s were the pilots shot down and used as bargaining chips, but the war itself was even worse on the ground. it's fair to say guys who had to fight the ground war, the grunt war, like hagel saw it in all its horror. >> and complexity and the knotty dilemmas. you can see great movies like oliver stone's "platoon." >> oliver stone was good at that. >> that's a dichotomy. you have people like john kerry and chuck hagel who talk about their experiences in vietnam and saying, listen, we think a land war is the last resort. and they have someone like john mccain, and this is a point you have made a couple times since the republican convention, he called for about six wars in his speech in tampa, john mccain did, and so they both -- >> new ones. >> new ones. and major wars. and so he seems to sort of come
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back from vietnam as if he wants to do it right in another way, and he has this whole thing, people forget, about teddy roosevelt, and teddy roosevelt, who did a lot of progressive things on the foreign policy front, believed national greatness and his own personal greatness would come from war. >> the great white fleet. >> and so mccain seems to have some of that in him, which is not present in john kerry. >> joy, somebody said to me the other day when you watch the whole hearings the other day with the nitpicking and attack and baiting really about israel and stuff like that, we all could see the baiting, especially by lindsey graham here, i will show it in a second, it didn't have much to do with the kind of military force we need in the 21st century. the kind of decisions that need to be made. how big of a footprint? how many troops did we leave in a country? how many wars can we fight? how do we use drones and personnel? none of that. >> exactly. i totally agree with you. i was watching it an they were fighting about the past? what about t the military, the drones, things people are talking about today. the next secretary of defense is not going to have to deal with iraq. iraq is a fait accompli, but john mccain is obsessed with the past and with the glory of war
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idea that is from the 20th century. he needs to move on. >> here is lindsey graham badgering defense nominee hagel on whether the iranian revolutionary national guard should be designated a terrorist organization. i think this is aimed directly at south carolina's right wing. let's listen. >> if there was a vote on the floor of the senate this afternoon to label the iranian revolutionary guard, the people who have killed our soldiers in iraq, some of the most vicious people to the people of iran themselves, if there were a vote tomorrow or this afternoon or after lunch, would you still vote no?
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>> well, i would want to know from the president what they were doing, but, again -- >> i mean, you read the paper, you watch tv. you got any doubt what they're doing? if you had a chance tomorrow, today, after lunch to vote to say that the iranian revolutionary guard was a terrorist organization, would you still vote no? >> well, the reason i voted no to start with -- >> i know why -- you told me that. my question is would you reconsider and would you vote yes this time? or would you still vote no? >> times change, i recognize that and, yes, i would reconsider, but the whole -- >> well, thank you. that's encouraging. my time is up. >> you want to know what the mccarthy period was like a little bit? what the inquisition was like a little bit, the star chamber? that. >> he didn't give him a chance to answer the question. it wasn't about the issue itself. it was about lindsey graham grandstanding for the five minutes he gets. there's a whole other story about how congressional hearings have really gone downhill over the last 10 or 20 years, five-minute questions, you don't get to develop a train of thought, you don't take in the answer and have a real discussion. you saw yesterday far more talk about what hagel might have said about israel a couple years ago than about afghanistan.
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>> they wanted recantation. they wanted him to recant like -- excuse me, ecclesiastical proceeding. turn the candle upside down. >> they feel he turned on them, turned on the neocons, and they want him to cry uncle. the neocons, who are led in the senate by john mccain and lindsey graham, they see chuck hagel as the human roadblock and the symbol that barack obama, that president obama is not going to let them have their war in iran, and that is their problem with chuck hagel. >> i think our brains are connected. i say that again, joy. you're so smart. because i agree with your words as you speak them. they're brilliant. i'm serious. i'm not patronizing. i think you're unbelievable. >> i appreciate it. >> i keep hearing my brain talk. thank you, joy reid. i think we're redundant. thank you, david corn. coming up, it's hillary clinton's last day at the state department. what a ceremony we saw today.
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what a show. it was like a political convention. it's the first day of the rest of her life actually, and it may include a 2016 campaign for president. she hasn't said whether she wants to run, but there are plenty of democrats out there just waiting for her to say i do. also, men behaving badly. we have touched on that already. we showed you john mccain and lindsey graham's rude behavior and they're hardly alone. the lesson many of the gops seem to have learned from 2012 is if you want to stop losing elections, just keep doing exactly what you've been doing. strange lesson. the documentary "the gatekeepers" is a fascinating look at the people involved with dealing with palestinians in the occupied territories. they're a lot more like barack obama than like benjamin netanyahu. finally, let me finish tonight with a chance of a fabulous massachusetts delegation to the united states senate now. elizabeth warren and edward markey. and this is "hardball," the place for politics.
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i knew there was something
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really special abthis place. and that having the honor to
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>> welcome back to "hardball." that was, of course, secretary of state hillary clinton saying good-bye today to the men and women of the state department. now, let the campaign begin. she may not want -- may want some r&r for the short run, but already the world of democratic
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operatives and donors is itching for the big drive in 2016. take a look at the tablet version of "newsweek" this week. there it is, it's most powerful women in history. i think there's an overstatement. nobody wants to be late to this party. wouldn't cleopatra have been pretty powerful? with me is former pennsylvania governor ed rendell and pulitzer prize winner cynthia tucker. where would you put hillary with cleopatra? >> cleopatra immediately came to mind for me, too, and i think hillary clinton probably still has some history in front of her
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to make before she can be declared the most powerful woman in history. >> okay. >> i think cleopatra is a little ahead of her. >> we've settled that. ed markey -- i'm thinking of ed markey because i'm endorsing him tonight for the senate because scott brown isn't running. let me ask you, governor rendell, let me try to bother you a little bit. back in 1979 you were convinced ted kennedy could not be beat for president of the united states. you were out there with billy green. i'm trying to hold onto my speech writing job in the white house, you're trying to take it away from me. some times change. is it conceivable in your hillary heart that times could change over the next three years and she would not be hot to trot to run, that there may not be this ground swell of support for her? doug macarthur i'm told by the people who lived back there in '51 and remembered it, that he was unbeatable in '51 for president when he was fired by truman. the republicans would have ran him and won with him. a year later he was nothing, ike took it away. is it true hillary has the staying power so that four years from now she could be president? >> yeah, i think she does. ted kennedy, remember, was a fairly young senator and hadn't
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really proven himself. douglas macarthur was a general, and no one knew how he would react to public service. hillary clinton has been on the scene for 20 years, two decades, and has been a fairly dominant player already in american politics for those 20 years. chris, it is unbelievable, i can't walk a block in philadelphia without being stopped by someone thrusting a card in my hand saying when hillary runs, i want to give money. i have never seen anything like it in my political experience of 34 years ever. not anywhere close. not even the obama phenomenon matches the enthusiasm level that's here. could something change in three years? of course. three years is a long time. but, remember, it's not really three years. if she wants to make a decision, she has to make a decision by next spring, spring of '14. if she makes that decision, she by and large pre-empts the democratic field. >> what do you tell joe biden that he should do between now and then to prepare to run if
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she doesn't run but prepare to hit the parachute if she does run? how does he prepare both? >> well, he does everything he's been doing. he goes at it like he's going to be a candidate because i think there's still a decent chance that hillary will decide not to run. i wouldn't bet on it, but i think there's a decent chance, and then joe becomes the front-runner. joe should continue to make contact, talk to givers. the problem for joe is, and people do love and respect joe, and i'm in that category, but the givers, the people who will decide who really is the most powerful candidate, they're all -- they all like joe, but they're all for hillary right now. that's his biggest problem. >> and that's men and women both, right? >> men and women both. >> let me go to cynthia. let's look at this poll, most admired woman of 2012. let's look at this number here. hillary clinton, it's not even close anymore, the most admired woman category here. 21% for her. the first lady at 5%, which is okay i guess but not great here. and oprah winfrey, who is like the most powerful woman in the history of the media you might say, televised media, and look at her down there at 4%. it's stunning the domination, if you will, of this one public
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figure. >> i think that's well-deserved, chris. i really do. i think she has not only done a phenomenal job as secretary of state, but she also -- she ran an excellent campaign in the primaries, and when she lost, she threw her support behind barack obama and worked very hard for him and, of course, she worked -- she was his loyal secretary of state. and i think that goes a long way with many people. their campaign was pretty bitter. their rivalry was pretty bitter, and i remember all of the questions in 2008. will hillary really join forces with barack obama? not only did she join forces, she worked hard for him, and she was his very loyal secretary of state. and i think for people all over
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the world, that goes a long way in building up their admiration for her. this was a woman who lost the campaign, but when she was called on, she gave it her all. >> let me ask you, governor, you're as good a pol as i know. my question is what did she learn? somebody said just recently the secretary herself said the lessons she learned looking back was she had to be a better communicator. well, that covers a lot of territory. i think what hurt her most was her vote at least for the iraq war. in the democratic confines within the caucus voters, the real zealous people in the party, that war was the issue, the opposition to it, and the fact that she had voted for it i think really gave an issue to barack obama who as a state senator was out there in chicago in probably a liberal district and he voted against the war without worrying about it.
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she hedged her bets and voted for the war, and i think that was her biggest impediment to winning. i don't think she has that kind of impediment this time around. >> no, and she learned how to communicate with working class folks. if you remember, chris, four or five years ago, hillary clinton's biggest problem was working class women, blue collar women. yet by the end of that campaign, she was racking up huge majorities in west virginia and kentucky and pennsylvania and places like that, and she attracted those working class women. she was like a rock star in the parades we went to in scranton and pittsburgh and places like that. so she learned to communicate as a populist, as a real populist. that will hold her in good stead. i think she learned to save some money for contingencies. remember, if they had any money after super tuesday, i think they would have been the nominee, but they spent all their money, and it was down the chute, and she got bad advice. >> bad advice. if you run it next time, it will be better. i got some of those working class women. i know what that looks like.
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you're against hillary. if you were against hillary, you were in big trouble. no matter what your motive, you were in big trouble. cynthia, you can't wait, can you? >> you know, i think that by 2014 the prospect of becoming the very first female president of the united states will be too powerful for hillary clinton to say no. she's also a person who could hold together what has become known as the obama coalition. i think her biggest trouble, quite frankly, would be taking all of that for granted, the sense of entitlement which i also think hurt her some in 2008. she has to run as if her life depends on it and not act as if she's taking it for granted. >> after a brief rest, i'm sure she could. thank you, cynthia tucker, and my good friend, governor ed rendell. thank you for coming. happy friday. up next the "sideshow," and this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ alright, let's go.
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back to "hardball" now. the "sideshow." state of shock. back to "hardball" now. the "sideshow." state of shock. aaron schock. let's say you're a u.s. congressman in a state that's expected to take up the issue of gay marriage in the coming weeks, and let's say you have a history of supporting a federal amendment that would ban it entirely. in those circumstances you might expect it to be a hot topic with reporters, right? illinois congressman aaron schock apparently never saw it coming. >> why don't you support that issue, by the way? >> well, i just haven't. >> i mean, is there a reason? it seems to be a few states have passed it. obviously the needle is moving in a lot of polls. i'm wondering what the reason is? >> i think everybody has a set of beliefs on issues, social issues in particular, that are a reflection of how they were
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raised and their set of beliefs. i think why you're seeing some of these changes in laws is because people's views in society have changed. >> well, that was illuminating. schock has said he's considering a run for governor of illinois. a rough week for some members of the 49ers. it started when chris culliver made anti-gay reports on a radio show. quote, the derogatory comments i made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how i feel. end of the story maybe for culliver. some pointed to the fact that four members took part in a video for the it gets better project, a group that reaches out to teen victims of bullying, specifically lgbt teens. >> there's nothing easy about being young. >> about being yourself. >> every day brings different challenges. >> it defines who you are, but something you should never experience is being bullied.
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>> the san francisco 49ers are proud to join to let all lgbt teens know that it gets better. >> believe in yourself, set goals for yourself. >> look to the future, and it will get better. >> that was last august, but in an interview with "usa today," two of the players we just saw in the video initially denied participation in the gay rights video. one of them, ahmad brooks, said, quote, i think if i made a video, i'd remember it. this is america, and if someone wants to be gay, they can be gay, but i didn't make any video. then he was shown the video. oh, that. it was an anti-bullying video. it was a gay rights video. brooks and his teammate eventually agreed gay teens are very often the victims of bullying. the it gets better project has removed the video from the website. up next, republican men behaving badly. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ ♪
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her's what's happening. the white house is calling today's attack on the u.s. embassy an act of terror. no one has claimed sponszblety for the bombing. john kerry was sworn in as secretary of state earlier by supreme court justice elena kagan. >> former first dog barney bush has died. the scottish terrier called the white house home for eight years. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." we're seeing a trend i'd say. republican men behaving badly. in fact, they're talking exactly
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the way they did in the four years leading up to their 2012 election disaster. apparently losing a presidential election, senate house seats hasn't dissuaded some republicans from putting their worst feet forward. take chuck hagel's confirmation hearing, some of which we've been talking about already tonight. and secretary of state hillary clinton's hearing over the killings in benghazi. let's listen to another exchange between hagel and in this case south carolina senator lindsey graham. >> name one person in your opinion who is intimidated by the israeli lobby in the united states senate. >> well, first -- >> name one. >> i don't know. >> well, why would you say it? >> i didn't have in mind a specific person -- >> do you agree it's a provocative statement, that i can't think of a more provocative thing to say about
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the relationship between the united states and israel and the senate or the congress than what you said. name one dumb thing we've been goaded into doing because of the pressure from the israeli or jewish lobby. >> the freshman republican ted cruz of texas wanted to get his camera time. let's watch cruz in action. >> in a speech on the floor of the senate, you referred to israel's military campaign against the terrorist group hezbollah as a sickening slaughter. i would suggest the characterizations -- do you think it's right that israel has committed a, quote, sickening slaughter as you said on the floor of the senate? >> i think, again, i would want to read all of it what i said -- >> what's he doing? perhaps with an eye to 2016, the right wingers didn't spare hillary clinton either. senator rand paul said she should have been fired for benghazi. >> i'm glad you're accepting responsibility. i think that ultimately with your leaving you accept the
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culpability for the worst tragedy since 9/11, and i really mean that. had i been president at the time and i found you did not read the cables from benghazi, you did not read the cables from ambassador stevens, i would have relieved you of your post. i think it's inexcusable. >> it was particularly sweet there if you notice how he suggested she was resigning under pressure, that she was quitting the job because of benghazi even though for months, if not years, she said she intended to serve one presidential term as secretary of state. that was a totally dishonest remark. talking about republicans rebranding themselves after their big defeat in 2012, but it doesn't seem as if these guys got the memo. with me right now to discuss it robert costa, washington editor for "the national review" and sam stein, who is a political editor for "the huffington post." robert, how would you rate those performances? >> i think these are republicans asking tough questions at a congressional hearing. this is not a big story. these are congressional hearings, not a cocktail party. they should be tough questions.
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i don't understand the outrage about questions for someone who is going to be running the pentagon. >> sam? >> well, i slightly disagree with robert. >> i thought you might. >> you know, actually it's funny because some of these questions did produce interesting, illustrative answers. for instance, when ron johnson got hillary clinton to say what difference does it make? well, it does make a difference. the problem i found with the questions was they ended up stepping on the news. they became so demonstrative and so theatrical that they ended up stealing the spotlight from the answers. that did a disservice in some respects to the question. >> is the real story the feeder of the questions or hagel's fumbling performance? i think it's the latter. i think hagel had a dismal performance at that hearing. did he seem competent to run the pentagon? there were a lot of questions even among democrats after that hearing whether he's ready. >> i don't disagree with that. i think hagel had a really poor performance. what i'm saying is for these senators -- if you looked at what ted cruz was asking about,
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association with an israeli diplomat that basically 99.9% of the country has never heard of, what was the point of that? he ended up actually stepping on hagel's bad day by taking some of the spotlight away from him. >> let's go after some of the questioning, because i disagree with you and i agree with you. >> not surprised about that. >> what? >> i said i'm not surprised you agree. >> was that sarcasm? let's talk about lindsey graham. when you ask a guy who had already recanted his argument about the power of the israeli lobby, obviously enormously influential lobby like the nra, heavily funded, heavily activated, strong people with strong minds, everybody knows they're influential, that's why they're there. to say which senator do you know that was bought by them, controlled by them, intimidated by them. obviously there's no answer to that question. so what was the purpose of that exchange? what i would submit is it wasn't an interview. it wasn't even an interrogation. it was almost a star chamber attempt to incriminate the guy. in other words, there is no right answer to the question. had he named a name of somebody
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who had come up and said i was going to vote for that but somebody got to me and said i better not, if somebody had said that to him, he would have been dead in these hearings. i'm just saying what the questions were along the lines of, have you stopped beating your wife? there was no informative answer. >> you're calling this a mccarthy hearing, a star chamber -- >> yes, it is. >> you think when democratic senators met with hagel behind the scenes they weren't asking about his comments -- >> sure they're asking. by the way, they got the answers. they got the answers, but i believe what happened is this guy was walked on the plank. he was told by mccain and lindsey we're satisfied with your answers, and that's all the words that came out of the preliminary discussion. they got him in, and they jumped him. for theatrical purposes. >> he had been given truth serum, chuck hagel could have pointed to himself as somebody who had been influenced by the israeli lobby. a lot of previous statements he had to walk back. he could have said you're looking at him.
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>> you're saying this is theater to ask about the jewish lobby comment. i think it was the right course of action. if a senator in a congressional hearing, if they made that kind of comment in a public -- >> we're a month into this discussion though. the trouble is, robert, we're a month into the discussion with back and forths and recantations for weeks, and to go in there and act like none of this ever happened -- >> it happened in the press, and it happened before the official hearing. this is the official hearing to confirm -- >> okay. i will stick to what i'm saying. if they were interested in his defense policy, they would have asked about it. >> i want to make one point. the number of times that israel came up i think in words was about 160-plus. the number of times they talked about afghanistan was really into the dozens. if you look at the weight of each issue facing the next defense secretary, you would admit that -- >> but hagel brought a lot of this on himself by talking about the jewish lobby. >> once. >> my point is if you go through this hearing and they ask a question about an old statement once, fine. two, okay. three times, it became so
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repetitive it looked like they were there to score a political point. maybe that's what they wanted to do. >> this isn't a classroom discussion. they had to drill -- >> what was the point of senator rand paul saying in the tape we just showed that hillary was being run out of the state department -- >> what's wrong with asking tough questions -- >> it was an assertion. it wasn't a question. she's quitting because of that. >> doesn't he have a right as a u.s. senator to make an assertion about her handling -- >> a dishonest statement -- that could be your opinion, but he's allowed to have an opinion. >> that's an opinion? it's a dishonest statement. >> that's your opinion. >> is there any possibility that hillary clinton is leaving the state department because of what happened in benghazi? any possibility of that? >> i don't think so. >> then why are you saying that's within his right to say so? it's a dishonest statement. >> he thinks so -- >> how do you know he thinks so? how do you know he's not trying to destroy her reputation. >> he looks at the disaster that was how the state department handled it -- >> and he's saying hillary clinton has --
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>> no one knows hillary's total motivation -- >> i don't want to get in the way of this. >> anybody wants to watch the tape, we'll show it again and again. he basically said hillary clinton is leaving the state department because of what happened in benghazi, a totally dishonest, scurrilous statement about somebody who served the country for many years. it was an awful thing to do, a cheap shot by not much of a person. and that's a problem, and that is vindictive politics. it's not the role of the senate to play that part. >> it is the role of the senate to play -- >> why do you keep going back robotically -- >> i'm not going back robotically. you're pinpointing rand paul's comment -- >> the mad dog attack on hillary clinton, the mad dog attack on chuck hagel is extraordinary in senate history. i have never seen people come on senate hearings and say yes or no, yes or no, yes or no. you don't talk -- >> mccain used to do the same thing to rumsfeld when rumsfeld -- >> your point being -- >> i'm saying mccain is always combative. to say it's a partisan thing -- >> it wasn't partisan.
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it was personal and strange. i'll go into it later in the show. thank you, robert costa, for defending the indefensible. it's true. sam stein, thank you. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ ooh baby, can i do for you today? ♪ [ female announcer ] need help keeping your digestive balance? align can help. only align has bifantis, a patented probiotic that naturally helps maintain your digestive balance. try align to help retain a balanced digestive system. try the #1 gastroenterologist recommended probiotic. align.
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black the former mayor of new york, ed koch, died this morning, and here is part of the lead paragraph of robert mcfadden's brilliant obituary in today's "new york times." he called koch the master showman of city hall who parlayed shrewd political instincts and plenty of chutzpah in three tumultuous terms of mayor of new york with all the
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tenacity, zest, and combativeness that personified his city of golden dreams. he used to walk the streets of new york asking how am i doing? ed koch was 88.
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[ speaking foreign language ]
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>> well, this is going to be a familiar topic around here. we're back. that was a clip from the documentary "the gatekeepers" which opens in select cities today. the film looks at israel's legendary shin bet, its intelligence agency and interviews six of its former heads. they sound a lot more like chuck hagel than bibi netanyahu. has left to human suffering on the part of the palestinians and has been banned from israel itself. like president obama, they argue for the need to engage your enemies. they say you can't make peace through military means alone. in order, these men wouldn't fit in very well in the republican party in the u.s. right now. they might even get badgered by lindsey graham and ted cruz as we saw in a congressional hearing. the film is directed by documentary filmmaker dror moreh.
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thank you so much for this. i guess we always know in the states here, as you know, the military are often very hesitant about getting involved in military operations. they know the limitations of war and the unexpected horrors and costs of war. tell us about it, because i don't think most of us who follow israeli politics here are fully aware of the views that you got from your people in the military and shin bet are the top intelligence people there about israeli security. >> look, the basic thing is where do you want to lead this country? where do you want it to go strategically, not tactically. tactically, they are dealing with interrogation under physical pressure. they're the ones that are issuing the curfews. but at the end of the day, where do you want this conflict to lead at the end?
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and these guys are coming and saying very, very strongly that israel should drive very strongly towards a two-state solution to try to reconciliate with our palestinians. well, basically, you are right completely. they do not understand the policy of netanyahu and they are more understanding with barack obama's policy. >> well, you know, a couple of weeks ago, netanyahu's government decided to build the settlements, basically cutting off the loop, cutting off the access between the west bank and east jerusalem. to me, i've been over there many times. it looks like it was shutting off the chance for any real second state over there for the palestinians. >> well, netanyahu has spoken a lot about doing that. no prime minister has done that building in the e-1 territory, disconnecting basically the prospect of jerusalem connecting to the palestinian territories. i think this is just mouse lipping before the election to the extreme right wing in israel. but i think the elections in israel has proven for i don't know how many times that the
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israeli public is much smarter than the politicians in there. and they showed netanyahu to say to him basically we want you to go center and not go to the extreme right, which he wanted to do. >> what do you think? you're a pretty young guy. you look down the road for israel. i think so. you look down the road for israel. i always like to be optimistic than country. do you see a chance for some reasonable situations say 20, 30 years from now where there is enough middle class in the west bank where they have some stakes in peace, and there will be some terrorism, but not much. the country itself is willing to punish terrorists. arabs who kill jews. unless arabs are willing to kill arabs for killing jews, you'll never have peace. can you see that arriving in 20 years or so? >> i think it depends, especially what the heads of the gatekeeper are saying to us, the heads of the shin bet. this depends on two great leaders that has to be at the same time on both sides of the equation. and this has never happened up until now. if you ask me honestly, i don't think this can happen. we don't have those leaders. and unless there will be an
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immense pressure coming from the u.s., especially from the white house on those parties on the ground, nothing will happen between them. >> i wish we could give you back yitzhak rabin. >> i have to agree with you. i mean those amazingly tremendously great leaders were always assassinated by the extreme religious partners on both sides. either islam in egypt who assassinated anwar sadat, and either the extreme right wing in israel who assassinated yitzhak rabin. this is the tragedy in the area. >> i wish you well with the gate keepers. it's going to inform this country that your politics is as turbulent and sometimes divisive as ours. thank you so much, dror moreh. when we return, what could be a massive delegation to the u.s. senate. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] going to sleep may be easy, but when you wake up
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let me finish tonight with this. scott brown declared tonight that he is not running for the u.s. senate for massachusetts. i assume this means he will run for governor. i think it's a smart move for him. being a legislator is not for everyone. to do it right, you have to have the patience and the personal instinct about other legislators to move a bill forward, getting your views written into national policy and law. again, it's not for everyone. perhaps not for scott brown. he might be smart to wait his chance and run for an executive job, one that he can grab, hold on to and really do something with. we'll see. as for the senate seat in massachusetts, i have a firm grip on who i would like to see take it. u.s. congressman edward markey is the most principled person i know in american politics. he's what spent his career
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standing up to the special interests, the polluters, the people who take advantage, the greedy. he has sat on legislative committees and seen the power of the special interests. and he, again and again as taken them on. markey is a committed believer in avoiding the dangers even of nuclear war, a believer of a safer, healthier environment. back in the '70s refused to buckle to the forces of selfishness and power. he is running for the seat once held by edward m. kennedy. what the kennedys have stood for in massachusetts. he supports women's rights to a t, and will make a great colleague to the courageous senator elizabeth warren. i'm tremendously proud to call him a free, i am thrilled that he now leads the democratic race for the senate nomination. i'm glad for the country that we have such fine americans ready to take up the task of leadership. markey's clean, he is strong, and he has the vision to make a powerful difference for the progressives. and not just of massachusetts, but for the country. with warren and markey, this state will have am


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